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Old December 13, 2012, 11:53 PM
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Default Need help with laptop maintenance

Hi all. I was gaming with some friends yesterday and I saw (and felt) that my 7 months old laptop reached 98 degrees C at maximum. That's not really optimal conditions for nor me neither the machine so I was thinking that perhaps it needs a dust clean.

I have two cans of "Fellowes Invertible Air Duster" laying around (something like this FellowesŪ - Pressurized Duster) but when I test it I see that it freezes up (and then quickly vaporizes) on the spot that I use it even after short bursts and I'm not sure I want to blow that into my pc in an effort to remove dust?

I've heard that I shouldn't use a vacuum cleaner due to static electricity build up. We do have an air compressor machine (what do you call it?) but laptops have many delicate parts and I wont risk ruining the fan and other components located at the air intake and and exhaust. It's quite powerful I can tell you.

The screen also needs a cleaning. I have a cloth that came with a pair of glasses, can I use that to remove dust or will it scratch my screen? What is the best way to do it?

Thank you for the help.
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Old December 14, 2012, 01:37 AM
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Well for the dust can's it is fine to spray into your PC, it is non-conductive and it is just fluoro-carbons that will quickly evaporate and even sublimate into the atmosphere after you spray it. If it is out of warranty I would consider opening it up and cleaning the fins out with a thin pipe cleaner. Opening your laptop up is much easier than it sounds in most cases. The problem is that the dust cakes on to the fins and the duster is not strong enough to blast it off so you really need something to gently brush the fins.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:24 AM
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The freezing up effect is caused because the liquid is coming out instead of just the vapor. Hold the can perfectly upright and it shouldn't do that. Or just turn it upside down and spray the nearest person and give them frostbite

Depending on the laptop it's easy to pull off a few screws and remove the whole heatpipe / heatsink / fan combination, give it a good cleaning, then put new thermal paste on.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:31 AM
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I'll third the previous two comments WRT going the extra mile by getting the case off. If you think of it, what you're going to do with a can of compressed air is blow the accumulated dust/crap further into your laptop. :)
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:43 AM
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After 7 months thermal paste shouldn't be done BUT... I just took apart a laptop and put new paste on the heatsink and it goes to show how crappy they do it at the factory.

Its always something I do unless its in warranty.
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Old December 14, 2012, 06:21 AM
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Would you still warn against using a vacuum cleaner to suck or blow or an air compressor machine to blow to remove dust? And how about the screen?

Quote:
Hold the can perfectly upright and it shouldn't do that. Or just turn it upside down and spray the nearest person and give them frostbite

Depending on the laptop it's easy to pull off a few screws and remove the whole heatpipe / heatsink / fan combination, give it a good cleaning, then put new thermal paste on.
Well, it is a bit difficult to hold the can upright because the fan grill is horizontal, so either someone would have to hold the laptop in a 90 degree angle or I'll have to bend the straw but I get your point. :P

I can tell you it's a Packard Bell EasyNote TS11HR but I'm not sure I'm too fond of undoing screws and opening it up. And I think that the warranty is either 1 or 2 years so I would break the warranty. That and I don't own any thermal paste, nor have I ever tried applying some.

Quote:
I'll third the previous two comments WRT going the extra mile by getting the case off. If you think of it, what you're going to do with a can of compressed air is blow the accumulated dust/crap further into your laptop. :)
Isn't it intented to blow the dust through the computer and out the other end?
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Old December 14, 2012, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marute View Post
Would you still warn against using a vacuum cleaner to suck or blow or an air compressor machine to blow to remove dust? And how about the screen?



Well, it is a bit difficult to hold the can upright because the fan grill is horizontal, so either someone would have to hold the laptop in a 90 degree angle or I'll have to bend the straw but I get your point. :P

I can tell you it's a Packard Bell EasyNote TS11HR but I'm not sure I'm too fond of undoing screws and opening it up. And I think that the warranty is either 1 or 2 years so I would break the warranty. That and I don't own any thermal paste, nor have I ever tried applying some.



Isn't it intented to blow the dust through the computer and out the other end?
Laptops by their very nature have very restrictive air circulation which would prevent the completely free flow of air that would be required to blow it right through. Even fins on a tower air cooler for a desktop restrict air to a point where just blowing through will not clear out all of the built up dust/gunk and those are straight through.

That said, if you don't feel comfortable with the idea of removing the casing then get yourself a fairly stiff brush to loosen up whatever you can get to through the vents. I stiff paint brush will do, but my personal favorite is a shaving cream brush.
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
After 7 months thermal paste shouldn't be done BUT... I just took apart a laptop and put new paste on the heatsink and it goes to show how crappy they do it at the factory.

Its always something I do unless its in warranty.
It's always a fair statement that factory pasting/thermal-pads are not the best, and typically the weakest point of a laptop cooling solution. This is almost a laptop MOD, so if you are comfortable with ripping your laptop apart I am with Enaberif on this one. Otherwise make sure all your warrantee paperwork is in order and get it serviced after (if) it dies.

I would guess this is not a gamer series laptop but more a multimedia series laptop instead? And not to go O.T. but I heard dust-can juice was conductive.
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:24 PM
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ya know.. at 98 C... that's pretty much a normal operating temp for an AMD based laptop... NO?
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grinder View Post
ya know.. at 98 C... that's pretty much a normal operating temp for an AMD based laptop... NO?
Pretty much normal for an AMD based laptop clogged full of dust lol My AMD laptop runs around 90 and it is clogged full of dust (I have cleaned it out before but I don't use it any more so no point in opening it up) when it is clean it runs around 70.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grinder View Post
I would guess this is not a gamer series laptop but more a multimedia series laptop instead? And not to go O.T. but I heard dust-can juice was conductive.
Even if he has some weird stuff that is conductive it evaporates/sublimates in seconds so as long as his laptop isn't on when he blasts it, it should be fine but it would be better if he opened it up either way.

Last edited by JJThomp; December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM.
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